Area 31 is no more. I’ve had so many fulfilling and memorable experiences in this space. The music/arts community has lost a decent amount of venues lately. I don’t neccesarily view it as a bad thing though (just because I’m a positive person).
I’ve been living around Frederick long enough to see so many changes. The fight for a mainstay venue/place for arts and music to exist and thrive is always at the forefront in the community.. and the downside is the fact that this goal can seem like it’s making very slow progress.
Here’s a hopeful perspective for those still writing, making art/music and supporting the scene: The death of one thing is almost always followed by the birth of something new. Guido’s, The Squat, 200 East Art Haus… We won’t soon forget the impact of names like these and the magic I and so many others felt there – at the same time, if we continue to build a collective of people who care and are willing to put in some effort, I believe we’ll see new DIY spaces.
Having a bleak outlook doesn’t achieve much. Let’s keep pushing for the Frederick we want to see…
Superflower – Spacy and ambient loops with dazed vocals, lots of reverb, acoustic guitar and wide korg synth sounds. The music culminated into very uncertain energies that often emerge into soundscapes you wouldn’t expect. It all gives off feelings of some distant space and time, almost dystopian. In most ways it all feels like some sort of beautiful chaos as if to say that even though the disjointed and unexpected aspects of life (represented by a wave of noise that’s spacious and luscious with just a tad of harshness) come, they will pass and we will all find a way into the next chapter feeling more enlightened than ever.
Thomas Faison – Distorion and pure noise coming from a laptop through lots of effects pedals and phones producing some of the wildest sounds (anywhere from the classic iPhone ringtone to random phone calls being made on stage – numerous crazy sources). Loud and abrasive is the name of the game through lots of digital impurities. The madness never really resolves, it only builds into random wildness that’s hard to explain and sometimes takes screech to a whole new level. This is one of the strangest things you’ll see in the area.
Organs – Disjointed indie jazz of sorts. A sax player stays in key just long enough to keep you fooled just as they walk into the crowd all over spontaneously (with no real regard for slightly walking into people in a music haze) Sax solos are as random and felt out as they are soulful. The drumming would normally come out as jumbled, but in this duo it makes for a fascinating ride into what can only be described as a very crowd based experience. Sax channels itself through effects pedals for a very different approach that leads “transitions” and intriguing jam sections.
Lizzy Young -Dancey Indie pop dominated by computer driven synth sounds and a vocal that has just a tinge of distortion and reverb. The lyrics and vocals give off a very enjoyable and carefree atmosphere. “the next song is about farts”.
Sunniva – Dreamy psychedelic indie with jams that lead into transcendent soundscapes. Clean guitars make melodic riffs and washed out leads, the bass grooves and funks and technical drums never lose the steady backbeat. A versatile live band with lots to look forward to – their sound only progresses with each release and the new song played showed lots of promise for the development of the band. Brilliant keys from the almighty Colin Shultzaberger dazzle and amaze as they are by far what adds the mystic element and bopping vibe to it all. Songs like “Breakfast Magic” prove the power of Sunniva.
The Fun Boys – An absolute party of music from every direction. Energy isn’t a word that could describe how high ranking in physical rock the Fun Boys are. [A band that even makes soundchecks entertaining.] “Anyone out there ever had sex?” A highlight was a rendition of the fresh prince theme song in the middle of one of their original tunes. Sam unexpectedly climbed a ladder for the first time at the end of “Malte Shop” – the band had the crowd chanting “Chips Ahoy”. It seems like there would be a point you could stop writing new things about a a band, but the fun boys simply have too much to offer. The end of the show was highlighted by Sam climbing a ladder up to the rafters of Area 31 in a very exciting and honest goodbye to the space.